Skip to main content

Death Dog (77407) as Hell Hound

| admin |

The Fire Giants in Storm King’s Thunder often use Hell Hounds as pets. These fiends breath fire and share the love for heat and fire of the Fire Giants, so can inhabit the same dungeons. They provide a nice addition to encounters with the Fire Giants. Alas, I did not find any cool Hell Hound miniatures back in 2018, when we were playing Storm King’s Thunder. Reaper has the death dogs, and I already got one in one of the Kickstarters. So I decided that my Hell Hounds would use the Death Dog miniatures!

In Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Death Dogs and Hell Hounds are a completely different story: While Hell Hounds are fiends (demons/devils) with fire breath and fire immunity, Death Dogs are strange monstrosities with two heads with a poisonous/infectious bite. This is how both look in 5th edition:

I know that Reaper Miniatures also have a Hell Hound Miniature (77038). Damn, I even have one of those, because it was also in one of the Kickstarters. But when I flipped through the Storm King’s Thunder book, I somehow got the impression that these Fire Giant Hellhounds should have two heads. Maybe I just confused those two creatures.

Anyway, I decided to use the Death Dog (77407) from Reaper Miniatures (sculpted by Julie Guthrie) for my Hell Hounds. In sum, I painted three of them. The figures were made of the newer gray Bones material which is really a step-up from the white Bones.

Basing and Priming

Although the Hell Hounds are supposed to be medium-sized and thus should use a standard (1-inch) base, the Reaper Death Dogs were larger. But that would fit thematically with the Fire Giants – why shouldn’t even their dogs be as big as a pony? So I used a large (2-inch) base for the three figures.

I decorated the base with pebbles and sand and aimed to recreate the base from the repainted Fire Giantess. Then, I primed the miniatures with an airbrush using black and white primer. I am very sorry, I didn’t take pictures of the figures before painting them.


Although they now have two heads, I tried to paint my special Hell Hounds in the same colors as the original 5th edition Hell Hounds. So I painted the fur in a dark gray, using a wash for shadows and then drybrushing to highlight the edges of the fur. The sculpt does not have very sharp features in the fur, so this only worked suboptimally. But it was good enough for me.

The real feature of the Hell Hound is its fiery breath and the fire glow of its lungs. In a perfect world, this could be achieved by painting a semi-transparent dark fur over a bright orange/red and a little object source lighting. I left out the semi-transparent coat and just went for the fire color. Furthermore, I tried to add a very basic OSL effect on the fur and the base, but I know that it’s not correct. I did it via drybrushing, and so only the edges were highlighted. An additional semi-transparent coat of orange should also be applied here on the floor in the recesses for a more convincing effect.

Especially when looking at the minis in the photos here on the website and up close, you can see the flaws of the OSL. However! When the figures are on the gaming table half a meter away, you don’t actually see that anything is amiss. Overall, I am happy (enough) with how the Fire Giant’s pets turned out. They were used often in battle!